Friday, September 5, 2008

Blink (1994)

Illusion. Deception. Murder. In the blink of an eye things are not what they seem.

This is a thriller that has an intriguing plot. A beautiful fiddler, Emma Brody, blind since the age of eight, gets a corneal transplant twenty years after the domestic tragedy that robbed her of her eyesight. She then regains her eyesight, in a manner of speaking. It is a work in progress, and she is only able to see shadowy or distorted images. She also suffers from some sort of delayed or retrograde reaction to what she sees. So, images she sees today are really things that she may have seen the day before. This becomes particularly problematic or disconcerting when she becomes the only witness to have seen a killer shortly after a murder took place in her apartment building.

Naturally, the police are a little skeptical about her value as a witness. Having been blind for so long, however, her olfactory ability is heightened, and she is able to provide another valuable clue as to the killer. This becomes important, as the killer strikes again and again. The Detective assigned to the case, John Hallstrom, the precinct's self-proclaimed lady killer, becomes smitten with her, much to his surprise, as he has tended to be a love 'em and leave 'em type of guy. She, in turn, bitter because it was her mother who had blinded her, is initially unreceptive to his charms. When each is willing to drop their cynical, public personas, they find that their inner selves mesh, and they fall in love. Unfortunately, Emma is in acute danger, as the killer has a definite agenda, and Emma appears to be at the top of his list.

Madeleine Stowe is excellent as the beautiful Emma, giving her a hard-edged exterior while not losing her vulnerability. Aidan Quinn seems a little bit like a fish out of water as the rude, crude, and lewd Detective Hallstrom. It is only when his character falls in love with Emma, that Quinn seems to come alive in the part and feel comfortable. It is then that he hits his stride. The love scenes are passionate and inspired.

The rest of the cast gives competent performances, but the film never hits the level of suspense that one anticipates. The serial killer is a murky character whose raison d'etre is ultimately skimmed over. The sub-plot involving a potential romance between Emma and her eye surgeon sort of collapses onto itself, leaving the viewer to wonder why it was interjected into the story in the first place. Moreover, it is a major ethical breach for a detective to become intimately involved in a love affair with a witness in a case being investigated by that detective. Notwithstanding some of these short comings, however, it is still interesting enough film to warrant a rental, if not an actual purchase. ~ By Lawyeraau ~

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